Geneva Shuts Nightclubs; Australia Infections Rise: Virus Update
© Photographer: Go Nakamura/Getty Images HOUSTON, TX - JULY 28: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Members of the medical staff treat a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have spiked since Texas reopened, pushing intensive-care units to full capacity and sparking concerns about a surge in fatalities as the virus spreads. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)
Switzerland ordered the closure of nightclubs in Geneva after a 40% increase in Covid-19 cases in the canton.
Infections in Australia’s second-most populous state jumped while Mexico overtook the U.K. to become the country with the third-most deaths globally.
In Asia, Singapore extended support for construction firms, and doctors in the Philippines called on President Rodrigo Duterte to return metro Manila to strict community quarantine.
Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases top 17.5 million; deaths pass 677,530Some Covid-19 good news: fewer stressed moms-to-beJapan acted like the virus had gone. Now it’s spread everywhereThe Covid bankruptcies: California pizza to prom-dress retailerNew York’s wealthiest are flocking to Florida even while Covid rages
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Geneva Nightclubs Ordered to Shut (1:40 p.m. HK)
Switzerland ordered the closure of nightclubs in Geneva until Aug. 23 and increased restrictions on bars and restaurants following a 40% increase in Covid-19 cases in the canton. Customers in bars and restaurants must remain seated while they are consuming food or beverages and wear a mask when not seated, according to a notice published late Friday.
Singapore Extends Aid to Construction Sector (1:08 p.m. HK)
Singapore will provide an additional S$320 million ($233 million) of support for firms in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors, the government said Saturday. That’s on top of a S$1.36 billion aid package announced in June.
Under the new measures, the payment of foreign worker levies will be waived until September and then only gradually reintroduced.
Philippines Doctors Urge Time Out (12:18 p.m. HK)
Doctors in the Philippines have appealed to the government to reimpose tighter movement restrictions in the area around Manila as cases continue to surge.
The heads of about 40 medical societies called on President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday to return metro Manila to strict community quarantine for two weeks to ease a rise in infections and allow health workers to recover from exhaustion.
Cases in Australia’s Victoria, NSW States Rise (10:22 a.m.)
Daniel Andrews, premier of Australia’s second-most populous state Victoria, said there was growing concern about community transmission. Victoria has in recent days identified 49 mystery cases it couldn’t trace to a known outbreak. Andrews also said three more people died from Covid-19.
Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, recorded 17 new cases in the past 24 hours on Saturday.
India Cases Touch 1.64 Million (10:00 a.m. HK)
The number of confirmed cases in India stands at 1.64 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The number of fatalities in India is 35,745.
China Reports 45 New Cases (9:10 a.m. HK)
China added 45 new coronavirus cases on Friday, with no new deaths reported, according the National Health Commission. A total of 39 local cases were found, with 31 in Xinjiang and eight in northern Liaoning province. The six imported cases include four in Shanghai and two in Guangdong province.
Mexico Overtakes U.K. (8:42 a.m. HK)
Reported fatalities in the nation rose 688 from Thursday to reach 46,688. The number of cases rose by a daily record of 8,458 to 424,637. The U.K. has 46,204 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The high death rate in Mexico indicates actual cases may be much steeper. In Brazil, which is No. 2 behind the U.S. with the most number of cases and deaths, the fatality rate is about twice that of Mexico, while cases are about six times higher.
Vietnam Has 12 New Danang Cases (8:22 a.m. HK)
The government has now reported 558 total cases and three deaths from the virus. Leaders in Hanoi ordered bars to close and suspended religious and cultural gatherings as well as other large events, the city said on its website.
Baseball Season on the Brink (6:45 a.m. HK)
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred told the head of the MLB’s Players Association that the season could be shut down if teams continue to experience outbreaks of Covid-19, according to a report from ESPN.
ESPN, citing people it didn’t identify, also reported that multiple players expressed concern that the season -- delayed for months and only started last week -- might be canceled as soon as Monday.
Two St. Louis Cardinals players tested positive for the virus on Friday, forcing the postponement of their game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Venezuela Reports Daily Case Record (6:40 a.m. HK)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reported a record 715 cases. Speaking on state television, he said 6 more people have died for a total of 164. Total cases in the country rose to 18,574, as he urged Venezulans to stop house parties to prevent the infection’s spread.
Brazil Cases Slow, Deaths Rise (5:47 p.m. NY)
Brazil reported 52,383 new cases, down from 57,837 the previous day, for a total of 2,662,485. Deaths in the nation, hit worst by Covid-19 after the U.S., rose to 1,212, from 1,129 the previous day. Total fatalities are now 92,475.
Texas Cases Ease, Deaths Near Record (5:34 p.m. NY)
Texas confirmed 8,839 more virus cases, bringing the state’s total to 420,946. The number of new cases has gradually subsided over the past two weeks from highs of more than 10,000 a day in mid-July.
But as the slowing in new cases has eased pressure on hospitals, daily deaths hit record highs of more than 300 a day on Wednesday and Thursday. Deaths reported Friday fell just below that benchmark, with another 295 fatalities bringing the total in Texas to 6,569.
California Reports First Death of a Teenager (5:23 p.m. NY)
California, home to the most U.S. cases, reported its first death of a minor from Covid-19. The person was a teenager in the Central Valley who had underlying health conditions, the state’s health department said in a statement. There have been no deaths among younger children from the virus, the department said.
California on Friday surpassed 9,000 deaths from the virus. The Central Valley, a largely agricultural region, is experiencing a rapidly growing outbreak, prompting Governor Gavin Newsom to send $52 million in funds to the area this week to help fight the crisis.
‘Double Trouble’ in North Carolina (4:55 p.m. NY)
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper called combination of Hurricane Isaias and the state’s spiking virus outbreak “double trouble” and has made plans to prevent any evacuations from worsening the infection’s spread.
“Because of our ongoing battle with Covid-19, people needing a shelter will be screened for symptoms and given personal protective equipment like masks at the shelter,” he said in a tweet. “If someone has symptoms, the state has different sheltering options available where it’s easier to isolate.”
North Carolina reached near records of deaths and infections over the past week. Cooper declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Isaias was predicted to near the coast of Florida, also hard hit by Covid-19, likely by Saturday. Cooper said the latest projection is that the storm could reach North Carolina by Monday.
U.S. Cases Rise 0.5% (4 p.m. NY)
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 0.5% at 11:04 a.m. compared with the same time Thursday to 4.5 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was below the average 1.6% daily gain over the past week. Deaths rose 0.3% to 152,074.Arizona reported 3,212 new cases, a 1.9% rise to 174,010 and an acceleration from the 1.6% rate over the prior seven days.Florida reported 470,386 cases, up 2% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 2.4% in the previous seven days. Deaths rose by a record 257 to 6,843.Hawaii experienced a 6.6% increase in cases, bringing the total to 1,989, according to the Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg data.
California Cases Slow; Deaths Top 9,000 (2:26 p.m. NY)
California reported 8,086 new virus cases, less than the 14-day average daily gain of 9,102, for a total of 493,588 confirmed infections. There were 96 new deaths, also below the two-week average of 109, pushing its total fatalities to more than 9,000.
The state, which has seen cases more than double in July, reported other positive trends. Hospitalizations, at a record last week, dipped 1.8% Thursday, while the number of intensive-care patients dropped 1.3%. The 14-day average rate of positive tests fell from 7.5% to 7.2%, the lowest in two weeks.
Italy Again Reports Elevated Cases (1:27 p.m. NY)
Italy registered 379 new coronavirus cases on Friday, in line with Thursday when infections jumped the most since early June.
Driving the increase is the Veneto region after more than a hundred migrants in a welcome center in Treviso tested positive. Veneto reported 117 new cases Friday after 112 Thursday, but Governor Luca Zaia said the outbreak is under control and that there is no emergency.
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